BCCI maintains approach for new IPL rights tender

The Board of Control for Cricket in India will launch a new tender for media rights to the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition on Friday, stating the existing process will be maintained despite opposition from certain parties.

The BCCI has been forced to abort the tender process on a number of occasions but has now said a fresh invitation to tender will be released on July 21. Bid submissions are due on August 28, with the results of the tender expected to be announced on the same day.

India’s Supreme Court last week said it was considering a submission from Bharatiya Janata Party member Subramanian Swamy for an early hearing of his plea concerning the tender process. Swamy had called for an e-auctioning process in order to gain maximum value from the tender and ensure its transparency.

The rights tender is set to cover five editions of the IPL, from 2018 to 2022. The BCCI launched an initial tender in September last year for broadcast rights covering 10 years, from 2018 to 2027, and digital rights covering five years, from 2018 to 2022.

However, the sales process stalled due to a legal challenge by the Supreme Court into the governance of the BCCI. The case ultimately led to Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke being removed as president and secretary of the BCCI, respectively, after failing to implement various reforms.

In a statement on the new sales process, the BCCI said: “The IPL Governing Council at its meeting held on July 11, 2017 evaluated the IPL Media Rights ITT and reconfirmed that the existing BCCI tender process is the best approach, both in terms of absolute transparency and a free and fair price discovery, for the IPL media rights.”

The BCCI added that companies that had purchased bidding documents for last year’s tender, which was scheduled to conclude on October 25, will be provided the new tender documents without any additional charge.

The 18 companies that picked up the initial ITT were: Star India, Amazon, Followon Interactive Media, Taj TV, Sony Pictures Networks, Times Internet, SuperSport International, Reliance Jio Digital Services, Gulf DTH, GroupM Media India, beIN, Econet Media, Sky UK, ESPN Digital Media (India), BTG Legal Services, BT, Twitter and Facebook.

Sony Pictures Network India currently holds television rights to the IPL, while pay-television broadcaster Star India has digital and overseas rights to the IPL, aside from in the UK and the US. Both deals expired at the end of the 2017 season, which concluded on May 21.